Date of Conferral

2019

Degree

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

School

Education

Advisor

Candace B. Adams

Abstract

A portion of teachers in the United States educational system don’t use data to inform and improve their instruction resulting in actionable change. A gap exists between teachers having and interpreting data and making meaning in such a way that leads to actionable change in instruction. The purpose of this case study was to investigate how teachers used data to alter instruction and identify factors that inhibited or supported teachers in using data to drive instructional practice. This study was guided by Ackoff’s theory of action cycle, which included interaction, dialogue, data discoveries, and team response to data. The research questions asked how teams used data and what factors inhibited and supported the use of data. Three teams were observed. Eleven classroom teachers, the building principal and the district professional development director were interviewed. The teacher team criteria included that teachers met weekly and used, at a minimum, common formative assessments. The school and district mission, vision and value statements were collected as artifacts to see how these documents supported the use of data. Open and axial coding exposed themes and patterns. Results indicated that teachers commonly omitted one or more phases in a data cycle; however, when teachers worked through all phases of a data cycle, actionable change in instruction resulted, and factors that both inhibited and supported teacher use of data to guide instruction were evident throughout all aspects of the study. The project, a white paper, summarized the study and provided research-based recommendations based on the study. These recommendations focus on building teacher capacity and relationships. This study may generate social change through educational equity. Equity is achieved when teachers use data to inform instruction so that learners of all abilities may have access to learning.

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